TALKBACK

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The Independent Online
From Mr Malcolm Ross

Madam: In his eagerness to root out incompetent teachers, David Blunkett fails to make the connection with the budget cuts being forced on schools by the Government. As teacher redundancies escalate, schools have no choice but to make shift with those remaining and plug the holes in curriculum provision by redeploying staff to do specialist work for which they are totally unprepared.

Given the prevailing atmosphere of crisis, there is neither the time nor money for any serious retraining: you don't substitute for a four- year degree over a weekend. As for the stop-gap teachers themselves, they fall easy prey to the posturings of politicians on the make.

Mr Blunkett would sound a good deal more convincing if he were to promise to restore the money currently being siphoned out of education, thereby allowing teachers to get on with the jobs they are good at.

MALCOLM ROSS

Totnes, Devon

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